Tag Archive for beneficiaries

Naming Life Insurance Beneficiaries

Headline of Life Insurance for background

Chances are that you no longer remember whom you’ve named as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. You should find out. Why? The beneficiaries that you listed with your life insurance company trump any beneficiary designations that you may have made via your Minnesota Will.

It’s also important that your loved ones know that you have a life insurance policy and where to find it.  Otherwise, the life insurance money may go unclaimed! » Read more..

Your Will Doesn’t Cover All Your Assets

Will docThe danger of thinking that your Will covers the transfer of all your assets at your death is that the distribution of your assets may not end up as you intended.

Your Minnesota Will covers only what is known as your “probate assets”. If your Will provides that each of your 3 children is to inherit one-third of your estate, each child will inherit one-third of your “probate assets” only.

Stated another way, the wording of your Will has no impact on assets that are considered “non-probate assets”, and your non-probate assets may be a significant portion of your estate. » Read more..

Which is Better: Will or Trust?

Trust Doc 2If your goal is to find the cheapest and easiest administration of your estate after you die, a Revocable Living Trust may be your best bet.

The upfront costs of creating a Revocable Living Trust is almost certain to be higher than creating a Will, but a Revocable Living Trust may be cheaper in the end. Why? The Revocable Living Trust typically avoids the time and expense of probate. » Read more..

What is Probate?

iStock_000004014203SmallHave you seen the ads that encourage you to take steps to avoid probate?

Probate in Minnesota does take some time and does cost some money, but typically it’s not the legal equivalent of a root canal.

Probate is a Court-directed process for paying the deceased’s debts and taxes, and then transferring the remaining assets to the deceased’s beneficiaries. » Read more..

Selecting the Right Trustee or Executor

Estate PlanGiven that your trustee and personal representative (a/k/a “executor”) are charged with ensuring that your Revocable Trust agreement and Will are followed, it’s important to select the right persons to assume these responsibilities.

Both personal representatives of a Will and trustees of a Trust are fiduciaries. As fiduciaries, they are legally required to act for the benefit of your beneficiaries — not for their own benefit — in following the terms of your Will or Trust. » Read more..

Pros & Cons to Probate in Minnesota

Probate Court

Although most Minnesotans seek to avoid probate, there are pros to probate as well as cons.

Because probate involves the court — an open and public process — probate provides a level of transparency to all potential heirs and beneficiaries that may not exist otherwise. » Read more..

Pros & Cons of Trusts in Minnesota

Trust Doc 2What are some key pros and cons that Minnesotans use to determine whether a Revocable Living Trust should be part of their estate plan?

Pro — Avoid Probate: All assets held in a Revocable Living Trust avoid probate. Probate avoidance is especially helpful when you own real estate in more than one state. If real estate is owned in your name alone, it may trigger a probate action in each state where the real estate is located. » Read more..

Pros and Cons of Revocable Living Trusts in Minnesota

There are several “pros” and some “cons” for Minnesotans to consider when deciding whether to establish a Revocable Living Trust. For many, the pros outweigh the cons. » Read more..

A Will May Help Your Children Avoid Sandbox Fights

When the second parent dies and there is no Will, supposedly mature adult children may find themselves back in the sandbox fighting like five-year-olds. A Will cannot ensure that such behavior won’t happen, but it may help prevent such ugliness.

Of course, children don’t always fight over the family assets. However, lawyers handling probate (estate administration) matters see fights more often than you might think.

How does a Will help in Minnesota?  First, it is your last conversation with your child. You, the parent, are still in charge since you are talking to your children through your Will. » Read more..